My eighth grade algebra teacher was as mean as a snake. I’d try to hide my face in her class, thinking that she might not call on me. But at times she would. I actually managed pretty well under her, probably better than most. I knew a couple in the class who would even feel sick before entering her classroom, one claiming to have developed a stomach ulcer due to the stress of that class.
Many years of teaching gave her quite an expansive reputation as the meanest teacher around. And even today, some thirty years later, her name comes up in most any conversation related to those junior high and high school years. Hers was the class that everyone dreaded, and the memory of it conjures up those old, restless feelings. If anything, her class was unforgettable.
Was she a good teacher? I suppose that she was for some. But many students just could not learn in her class. They couldn’t have. Her manner put such stress on them that she was made virtually inaccessible as a teacher. And for those students, avoidance was the key to survival. If they learned anything, it was on their own.
Days 26-28 Guide
Accessibility is like an open invitation, a welcoming to all with their questions, concerns and expressions. I think that to be available is to honor the beauty of a relationship – whether it is between parent and child, teacher and student or employer and employee.
Think today of how to improve your range of accessibility in all of your various relationships. Are you available to your children? What about your friends? Do you say and do things to create invitations, or do you put up barriers?
The key today is to focus your thoughts on those who are under your influence and guidance. Open yourself up to them.
© 2004, Levi Hill